This summer has been a hodgepodge of craziness with ups and downs all over the place. I would like to think after they have averaged themselves out, I'm still coming out on top.
Untrue to the French PhD student that I am, I didn't have an extended holiday or go anywhere exotic, but I managed to have a lovely trip home to Canada, spend a few long weekends in Aix-en-Provence, and explore the Lausanne... AKA: stand up paddling and hikes galore ! (Side note: French people get minimum five weeks of paid vacay (ahem - minimum, some get 7 weeks or more!), and often take the whole month of August off to go abroad or to sizzle in the south of France. It's quite the lyfstyle.) Some very exciting personal things happened during these times, too !
To continue with the positives, I've also had the opportunity to start working on some new personal projects. Summer has providing me the time to brush up on my cake decorating skills with classes like the ones offered on Creativiu and dream about new projects. There are two very vague ideas in the mix (one definitely involving a lot of cake) that will hopefully start to become more concrete over the next few months.
Summer has also given me lots of time to search for new sweets! I read about using aquafaba (see below) in chocolate mousse in a French magazine, and though I would play around with some recipes to give it a try. I ended up with a light, deeply chocolate version of the French classic. It totally satisfies the chocolate cravings without packing in anything on my ever growing "I probably shouldn't eat that" list. This mousse is great by itself, but the addition of the coconut cream turns the dessert into something dynamic and special.
vegan chocolate mousse - what you need:
- 100 grams dark vegan chocolate
- 2/3 cup (150 mL) aquafaba*, separated
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup (or more for extra sweetness)
*Aquafaba is the super-dense protein liquid leftover from cooking chickpeas. You can use the water from canned chickpeas or what is left in your pot after you cook dried chickpeas at home.
vegan chocolate mousse - what you do:
This mousse makes four portions.
Over a double boiler, melt together the chocolate and 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of the aquafaba. Add a pinch of sea salt and stir until combined. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Place the remaining (140 mL) aquafaba in a large bowl. Begin to beat the aquafaba with an electric mixer. After the liquid begins to get foamy, add a spoonful of the maple syrup. Continue to beat this together until the mixture looks like semi-soft egg whites.
Slowly begin to add the melted chocolate mixture to the beaten aquafaba mixture.
The mixture will be like a bubbly soup. Add the rest of the maple syrup in and beat well. I recommend you dip a pinky in to taste the chocolate. Add more maple syrup if you want it to be sweeter.
Separate the mousse into four different bowls or glasses, and place in the fridge while you make the coconut cream.
Coconut cream - What you need:
- 1 can of coconut milk that has been refrigerated overnight
- 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, optional
Coconut cream - what you do:
Carefully open the can of coconut milk, and scoop out the hardened cream at the top into a large bowl. Beat the coconut cream with an electric mixer until it resembles whipped cream. It should be light and fluffy. Add in the maple syrup, if using, and beat until combined.
Top the chocolate mousse with a big dollop of coconut cream. Chill this combo in the fridge for another 3-4 hours for the mousse to set well.
Add the toppings of your choice !
Baking soundtrack - tunes to inspire your inner baker:
He has done it again <3 <3 <3